First Sem Hodgepodge

There are no words to express what I’m feeling right now. Maybe I can yell, “Walalalalalooo!!!” or shout “Walawalahookhook!!!”, but you still wouldn’t understand what I’m feeling now that the first sem of our first year in college has finally come to a close.

When I first came into the halls of UP Manila, I recall singing a song over and over again in my head.

*Cue in Aladdin’s A Whole New World…*

“I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?”

I’m certainly no princess, but I am most definitely a class-A probinsiyano. I’m not used to being in Manila all the time. My experiences before college were limited to divisoria trips and the occasional excursions to its colorful sights and wonderful sounds.

I wasn’t alone during these visits- until I began college. I remember being very paranoid on my first days there. I was always on guard, looking out for cellphone-crazed snatchers and money-grabbing fellows. I’ve heard many stories about people being mugged. I’ve heard some of my friends losing their belongings to those of deft hands.

Pure chance? I found my bag opened while I was walking with Chantel, Jason, and Camille. The city’s a far cry from the small town I live in.


“I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride”

Walk, jeep, jeep , LRT2, LRT 1… LRT1, LRT2, jeep, jeep, walk.

It’s slowly becoming a mantra for me. Commuting is a liberating experience, albeit an enervating one. Before college, the LRT was just an overlooked stone. Now, it’s the lifeline that I lean upon everyday.

Over, sideways, and under… That translates to walking over flooded streets, dodging sideways when someone suddenly pops out of nowhere, and bending your body under different kinds of obstacles. Even though it makes me weary by dusk, commuting makes me appreciate the house that I come home to by the end of the day.

“A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming”

Entering college is scary. But the fears are outweighed by the happy times spent with friends, the support given by the family, and by the lessons that are learned from the many experiences along the way.

“A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
Now I’m in a whole new world with you”

I’ve met a lot of interesting people with different personalities during my first four months. I quote from Jessica: “…may mga makukulit, seryoso, corny(ehem), maingay, tahimik, MAYAMANG, simpleng tao, at xempre di mawawala ang mga GC at SUPER GC. :))…”

The differences that exist among us often lead to misunderstandings. However, I believe that in time, all these will be lost to happy times we’ll all be spending together.

I’ve met my buddy, Pausiu, a bubbly individual whose radiance lights up a room. I’ve met her friends, the equally-bubbly Piliong Knickers. I’ve yet to meet the other upperclassmen though.

I’d like to make a special mention to the six unique souls that I’ve spent my time with:

1. Henri, a.k.a., Pride. Silent, but deadly. Grant-Imahara look-alike.
2. Mia, a.k.a., Anger. You don’t want to make her angry. Seriously dude.
3. Christa, a.k.a. Envy. Eternally hungry when near someone insane.
4. Me-Ann, a.k.a. Gluttony. Possesses the ability to make you think deep. Very deep.
5. Nikki, a.k.a. Sloth. Ironically, the most hardworking of us all.
6. Mel, a.k.a. Greed. Currently suffers a rare condition known as addictustwilightinensiensis. There is no cure at the moment.

And yours truly is Jian, a.k.a., Lust. For lack of another deadly sin.

Kidding aside, let’s proceed with the next stanza.

“Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky”

The city has two faces: a face of lively bustle by the day, and a face of resigned solitude at night.

The city makes you think deep into yourself. I’ve realized three things because of my experiences in the city.

One, I should be grateful that I’m studying. If you see those who are suffering from poverty or sickness, or even both, you’ll understand what I mean.

Two, there’s more to life than just grades. There’s partying with your former batchmates, spending time with your family, and having fun with your friends.

Three, the world is just awesome. A quote from Discovery Channel, this quote sums up all that I’ve learned during the first sem. I’ve learned to see the brighter side of things despite the hardships I’ve faced along the way.

“A whole new world
Don’t you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath – it gets better
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be”

A lot has changed since I started college. I began to eat a lot than what I used to, I began to sleep at different times of the day, I began to miss the life I once had.

Even my friends have changed. Those in Ateneo have been brainwashed, those in UST have become holy, those in DLSU have become heroes, those in UE have become communist Reds, those in FEU have become Tamarraws, those in St. Paul have become holier than the Thomasians, those in UP have become… the saviors of a nation.

Just kidding. Except on the UP part.

Although we’re walking different paths, change can’t change something: the memories that I’ve shared with the different people I’ve met along the way.

I’m making new memories now.

“A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you”

There’s no going back now. It’s time to face the future!

“A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me”

*Fades out*

There’s a lot in store for all in college. I’m looking forward to the next sem. Until then, let this sem break begin!

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